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Striking the evolutionary process of bone tumors


Molecular alterations increase the risk of cancer by increasing DNA damage, changes in the epigenome or the chromatin structure that impact the gene expression, metabolism and ultimately the phenotype exhibited by cancer cells. Identification of regulatory pathways and molecular biomarkers yielded dramatic changes in outcome for several adult cancers, but childhood cancer has largely been sidelined in this revolution. Even though bone tumors have high morbidity and mortality, there is limited knowledge regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms of their onset and progression. Most primary tumors of the bones are osteosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas. Probably related to their origins, their development and progression do not rely on mutation of single or few genes: while osteosarcomas present complex genotypes, Ewing sarcomas, an embryonic tumor, have highly variable epigenomes. We will explore bone tumors transformation, progression, relapse and treatment resistance using the epi/genomic instability as a driver of the cancer hallmarks. For that, the proposal is divided in five steps: (1) characterize the epi/genomic instability in osteosarcomas and Ewing sarcomas, (2) as well as the role of the telomeres, (3) explore the epigenome as a driver of the genomic instability, (4) search for a connection between the epi/genomic instability and an unbalanced metabolism, and (5) interfere with the mechanisms related to chemotherapeutic resistance. (AU)

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